Having just returned from my holiday, flying with BA in their World Traveller Plus class, I thought I would post my review, seeing as there was so much I got from these forums prior to the holiday.
The week before we flew, we paid the £48 per person to select our seats so I had the comfort of knowing we would be sat together.
We flew out of T5 at LHR one what I think is one of BA’s new 787 to Newark at 10.35am, and departed on time. The plane looked pretty decent from the outside, and the interior looked very new and was very clean. We took our seats 21 J and K which were right next to the toilets. On our seats we found a small pillow, blanket, headphones and an amenity kit.
I had plenty of leg room (ok, I am 5’5) and my partner had the entertainment box impacting his leg room but he seemed to be ok with it (he is 5’10). Although our seats were right next to the toilets, we didn’t get disturbed at all by movement or smells. Once the curtain was pulled between us and World Traveller, you wouldn’t have known we were right by the bathrooms.
We were offered a glass of something fizzy – water and juice were also available. Hot towels were handed out.
Menus were handed out and main course was a choice of beef or chicken, with a pasta salad to start and a strawberry cheesecake for dessert, along with cheese and biscuits. The food was ok – I mean what exactly do you expect 38,000 feet up. It was hot and tasted good. The food service was quick, and prior to the food served, drinks were handed out including a drink for the meal. However, during food service another drink was also offered. So, three small bottles of wine for the flight and I was well on my way to relaxing and starting my holiday.
As we didn’t have anyone behind us, we could recline our seats without worrying about disturbing anyone. As there was a wall behind us, we couldn’t recline as far back as others, but it was comfortable enough. Luckily for both of us, the people in front of us didn’t really recline theirs too far. The seat was really comfortable, and even with my generous back side, I felt I had plenty of room.
Although I had loaded up my tablet with films and books, I didn’t use it at all. Neither did I use the vast choice of IFE – I used to 6.5hour flight time to have some “me” time. My partner found plenty of choice and enough to watch during the flight.
After food, the mood lighting was switched on and stayed that way until we were an hour from landing. Soft and subtle blue lighting. Most people (me included) took the opportunity to have a bit of shut eye. A sandwich and small chocolate bar, tea and coffee was served and after a quick freshen up (in my seat), I was looking forward to landing.
The pilot announced we would be landing and that the toilets would only be available for another 20 minutes or so. I very quickly brushed my teeth to freshen up, but what was annoying was the number of people who decided to have almost a full make over in the toilets, spending 10 or more minutes in there – whilst the queue of people waiting to use the facilities grew longer. However, the toilets were very clean and seemed to be well kept throughout the flight.
The landing was smooth and we arrived bang on time – I suppose you would say we were 20 minutes early, but don’t the airlines have that little trick of appearing to land early?
On leaving the plane I did have a sneaky look at Business Class, and without offending regular Business Class users, I did wonder exactly what you get for your money. All the pods (?) looked very tightly packed together and not very spacious at all. It just appeared cramped. I suppose the big benefit was the flat bed.
Newark Airport was atrocious – but that’s another story.
On arrival at the hotel, we set about reserving our seats for the way back and found out there were only three seats not reserved – and they were individual seats and in separate rows. I spent most of the holiday quietly worrying about the return flight and being split up from my partner – but there was nothing we could do about it. We decided against paying for a seat selection at this point, as there was no benefit now.
We returned to the UK from IAD on A380, and were on Upper Deck (again World Traveller Plus). On arrival at check in – we were going to ask if anything was possible for us to sit together, but the check in lady told us we already had seats together – so not sure how that happened. But, I was immensely grateful. We departed on time at 6.30pm. We had seats 64D and 64E – an aisle seat and middle seat. Pleasingly the entertainment boxes were in between the seats, so under the arm rests and not impacting on leg room.
No fizz available prior to take off. Cabin crew told us they couldn’t open it on the ground, but Business Class had a glass, so I had some lovely juice instead. Food this time was a choice of beef or pasta, with a mozzarella & tomato salad to start, cheesecake, cheese and biscuits to finish. Drinks served before and during the meal. A member of the cabin crew started serving coffee, realised it didn’t look great so went off to make a new pot which was much better.
I’ve heard people mention that the Upper Deck on A380 is much quieter, but as I had never travelled on one before, I had nothing to compare it too. It was hard to imagine that there were a lot more passengers below us.
Again, a vast choice of IFE. On both flights the TV was in the back of the seat in front of us, had two USB ports and a port in the seat for the BA provided headphones, which my partner said were pretty good.
The lighting was turned down again after food was cleared, but not the mood lighting we had on the outbound flight, which was a shame.
The flight was smooth and we landed 15 minutes late, but I think we were held in the Heathrow stack longer than we should have done.
If I had to be picky (and this really is minor) but I think the 787 slightly pips the A380 (as far as BA is concerned). The 787 interior felt more modern and cleaner. The A380 certainly wasn’t dirty and again the toilets were well kept throughout the flight. But there was just something that stood out for the 787 for me. However, I have always wanted to travel on A380 – which was the main reason my partner split our holiday between New York and Washington, so for me it was a great experience and I did enjoy the journey on A380.
On both flights the cabin crew were excellent. Friendly, smiling and nothing too much trouble for them. Service on both flights from them was smooth and swift.
I am far from an experienced traveller, and only through my partners generosity was I able to experience BA World Traveller Plus, but I can highly recommend it for long haul flights. Paying a little extra for more seat pitch and leg room was well worth it. On these two trips, the BA experience was fantastic for me.
Thank you to BA crew for a fantastic start and end to our holiday.